Shadow of the Thin Man

1941

W. S. Van Dyke
Director
(as Maj. W. S. Van Dyke II)
MGM
Studio

In the fourth entry of the Thin Man series, Nick and Nora get embroiled in another mystery involving a gambling ring when a jockey is found dead at a race track, just when Nick decides to bet on the horses.

Enjoyable entry, not for the run of the mill mystery, but for the always enjoyable cast and the usual amusing situations along the way. The casting director pulled every mug out of the Damon Runyon playbook for this one, which adds to the fun. The subplot with Nick slowly realizing that he needs to lay off the booze because of his son is also charming and understated. Only detriments are that the cops are apparently totally helpless without Nick (shades of Philo Vance, though Nick Charles is never anywhere near as obnoxious as Vance), and that Nelson & Reed's characters are colorless. Stella Adler's moll with a thin veneer of culture and Reynolds' pulp-addicted landlady more than make up for it. The clarity of the DVD unfortunately allows us to very clearly see the wires cruelly tied to Asta's legs, controlling his movements. Still, that's some screwy hat!!

Shadow of the Thin Man came out just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor and there is a martial air to the atmosphere--Nickie's little uniforms, Nora spying on Nick with binoculars, etc. Indeed, the racetrack shown in the film became a storage center for naval landing craft not long after the film was released.

Followed by The Thin Man Goes Home in 1944, which definitely had a more military atmosphere.

There are so many unknowns in this film that those questionable characters have been moved to a separate page.

-Dave W.


Shadow of the Thin Man
21st November 1941
Cinema



97 mins
1.37:1




"
William Powell
Nick Charles
Myrna Loy
Nora Charles
Barry Nelson
Paul Clarke
Donna Reed
Molly Ford
Sam Levene
Lieutenant Abrams
Alan Baxter
'Whitey' Barrow
Henry O'Neill
Major Jason I. Sculley
Richard Hall
Nick Charles, Jr.
(as Dickie Hall)
Stella Adler
Claire Porter
Loring Smith
'Link' Stephens
Joseph Anthony
Fred Macy
Lou Lubin
'Rainbow' Benny Loomis
Louise Beavers
Stella
Asta
Himself
Aldrich Bowker
Watchman
(scenes deleted)
Arthur Aylesworth
Coroner in Macy's Office
(uncredited)
Arthur Belasco
Policeman
(uncredited)
Sheldon Bennett
Mario
(uncredited)
John Berkes
'Spider' Webb
(uncredited)
Sam Bernard
Counterman
(uncredited)
Ted Billings
Wrestling Match Spectator
(uncredited)
Oliver Blake
Fenster - Stephens' Attorney
(uncredited)
Frankie Burke
Jockey Buddy Burns
(uncredited)
Harry Burns
Greek Janitor
(uncredited)
Charles Calvert
Wrestling Referee
(uncredited)
Ken Christy
Detective
(uncredited)
Tom Coleman
Policeman
(uncredited)
Inez Cooper
Woman in Cab
(uncredited)
Noel Cravat
Baku - Chauffeur
(uncredited)
Cliff Danielson
Reporter
(uncredited)
William 'Wee Willie' Davis
Mug
(uncredited)
Adeline De Walt Reynolds
Barrow's Landlady
(uncredited)
Edgar Dearing
Motorcycle Cop on Bridge
(uncredited)
Sayre Dearing
Reporter
(uncredited)
Joe Devlin
Mug Starting Fight at Wrestling Match
(uncredited)
John Dilson
Coroner at Racetrack
(uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch
Mug at Birthday Party
(uncredited)
David Dornack
Lefty Rogan's Kid
(uncredited)
Bill Fisher
Watchman
(uncredited)
James Flavin
Cop Who Greets Nick at Racetrack
(uncredited)
Ava Gardner
Passerby at Race Track
(uncredited)
Jody Gilbert
Lana, Spider Webb's Girl
(uncredited)
Matt Gilman
Waiter with Steak
(uncredited)
Fred Graham
Waiter with Steak
(uncredited)
Kit Guard
Man at Wrestling Match Next to Italian
(uncredited)
Hardboiled Haggerty
Mug
(uncredited)
Edward Hearn
Policeman in Arena Office
(uncredited)
Arch Hendricks
Photographer
(uncredited)
Bob Ireland
Policeman
(uncredited)
Jerry Jerome
Reporter
(uncredited)
Tor Johnson
Mike Michael, The Irish Thrush
(uncredited)
Robert Kellard
Policeman
(uncredited)
John Kelly
'Meatballs' Murphy
(uncredited)
Lyle Latell
Waiter Serving Benny
(uncredited)
Hal Le Sueur
Reporter
(uncredited)
George Lloyd
Pipey, at the Birthday Party
(uncredited)
Tommy Mack
Soft Drink Vendor
(uncredited)
Jerry Mandy
Waiter
(uncredited)
Mathew McCue
Wrestling Spectator
(uncredited)
Pat McKee
Handler
(uncredited)
Sid Melton
Fingers
(uncredited)
Patty Moore
Lefty Rogan's Wife
(uncredited)
Roger Moore
Reporter
(uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse
Detective in Scully's Office
(uncredited)
George Noisom
Jockey in Jockey Room
(uncredited)
Joe Oakie
(uncredited)
Joey Ray
Stephens' Clerk
(uncredited)
Buddy Roosevelt
Reporter in Abrams' Office
(uncredited)
Jack Roper
Mug
(uncredited)
Harry Semels
Italian at Wrestling Match Calling Nora's Hat 'Screwy'
(uncredited)
Eddie Sim
Mug
(uncredited)
J. Lewis Smith
Policeman
(uncredited)
Brick Sullivan
Riley, Policeman at Arena
(uncredited)
Ray Teal
Cab Driver
(uncredited)
Dan Tobey
Ring Announcer
(uncredited)
Sailor Vincent
Mug
(uncredited)
Tito Vuolo
Luis, Waiter at Mario's Grotto
("Sea bass!!")
(uncredited)
Fred Walburn
First Bratty Kid on Merry-Go-Round
(uncredited)
Art Walge
Gunga Dean, The Hindu Champion
(uncredited)
Harry Wilson
Racetrack Security Guard / Mug Shoving Waiter
(uncredited)
Will Wright
Maguire - Nervous Ticket Seller
(uncredited)
Duke York
Valentine, Valet at Mario's Grotto
(uncredited)
Joe Yule
Henry, Racetrack Watchman
(uncredited)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes
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